Looking at where your current habits are taking you, why is change needed in your life?
Think about it. Really think about it, because finding your Why is the key to change.
In the last article, we learned there is a vaccine to protect us from addictions and negative habits, one that also helps us experience more peace, joy, and purpose in our life.
This vaccine isn’t an injection. We get this immunity by learning a new way to live.
It takes motivation to do that, so we must determine why change is needed in our life.
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Finding Your Why Begins With Self-Awareness
The process starts by developing self-awareness of why you do what you do:
- Does hidden insecurity turn you into a compulsive people-pleaser?
- Are you such a worrier that you compensate by controlling others?
- Do you get depressed and use alcohol or pills to feel better for a while?
And becoming aware of your “triggers,” those things which set off those compulsions:
- Parties make you insecure, and that’s when you feel you have to please everyone.
- Tough work projects give you anxiety, so you try to micro-manage your coworkers.
- You allow pessimism to take control of you, and use the buzz of alcohol to escape.
We think those habits will lessen our discomfort, but the pain does not go away–it get’s worse!
But yet we continue that harmful cycle over and over. The question is: Do you want a life dominated by your issues, or do you want to experience the peace that God intends you to have?
That answer is up to you, and you must determine if you will do something about it.
“You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” (Ayn Rand)
As you seek immunization from future issues, be aware of external factors that could affect you, such as your background. If you come from a family of worriers, procrastinators, or alcoholics, there is a chance you could develop those tendencies also.
But your upbringing is not your fate. You can overcome it, but it should serve as warning.
Some other external circumstances are worth protecting against as well. Moving, changing jobs, or facing a divorce can trigger issues. So can hanging out with the wrong friends. But you can do things to prevent those situations from leading to problems in the future.
“Avoiding problems you need to face is avoiding life you need to live.” (Paulo Coehlo)
Finding Your Why Means Facing Your Issues
Whatever your potential issues or addictions, you need to focus on finding your Why.
Have you counted the cost of what will happen if you continue your bad habits?
- Anxiety and worry that suck the joy out of each day.
- Carrying the weight of guilt and shame wherever you go.
- Hurting the people around you such that they move away from you.
- Allowing yourself to remain trapped in an ongoing cycle of unhappiness.
- Ignoring what God wants you to do, choosing instead to live in disobedience.
Conversely, what are the benefits you can obtain in the future by making a change now?
- More peace and contentment as the impact of issues fade away.
- Sleeping better at night, knowing you are trying to live the right way.
- Better and more caring relationships with others as you live with integrity.
- More purpose in life as you spend your time on the right things each day.
- Feeling God’s presence, and enjoying the sense of joy that brings.
Write down the costs of your current behavior. Capture the advantages of making a change. Now, envision a lifetime of those benefits. Going through that exercise will help in finding your Why.
“What you allow is what will continue.” (Azgraybebly Josland)
Years ago, when I was struggling, I eventually found my Why.
I simply could not go on living in direct disobedience of what God wanted me to do. It wasn’t fear which drove me, although I did feel shame at times. It was the love of a caring God who shared my pain with me, one who deserved my respect and allegiance.
That motivation has stuck with me, effectively vaccinating me from returning to my old ways.
Are you aware of your issues? Do you know why you need to change? It’s worth it to find out.
Once you know, you are on your way to vaccinating yourself against your issues.
Question: For the habit you want to be immunized against, what is your Why?
Action: Read the next two STEPS Journey blog articles to learn What can be done to change and How to get vaccinated against issues and addictions.